Dr. Jennifer Wilson, who relocated to Ottumwa to serve as the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Indian Hills Community College in 2020, was recently promoted to the college’s newly created position of Vice President of Business Solutions.
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Family Studies from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her career began in social work and then transitioned to higher education as the Adult Literacy Director for Iowa Valley Community College District followed by the Director for Customized Training and the Small Business Development Center at Rochester Community and Technical College. While at Iowa Valley, she earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.
Jennifer’s interest in the Academy stemmed from being new to the community. She shared, “Being new to Ottumwa, I wanted to meet other professionals, learn about the community, and find resources for students and the college. In addition, I am very relationship-driven, so it is important for me to be with people and learn from others. O.L.A. has been a great experience, and I am so thankful that I have been able to join a great group of diverse individuals who I would probably not have met if it was not for O.L.A.”
Learner tops Jennifer’s CliftonStrengths, followed by Adaptability, Strategic, Positivity, and Achiever. Diving into her own CliftonStrengths has impacted how she leads others. “I absolutely believe in putting people in positions that accelerate their abilities—learning to rely on a strengths-based mentality has taught me that for sure. I have been able to learn about others from a non-judgmental view by understanding their strengths and learning from them. We are all different people, and it is important that we do not build a team with the same strengths; rather, diversify to challenge ourselves. Diversifying team strengths provides a strong foundation which leads to working together. It also allows us to see things from someone else’s lens, which is valuable in any leadership position,” she said.
Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys giving back to her community, spending time with her family, traveling to the beach or on the motorcycle, and spending every chance she can get outside working in the yard. Jennifer and her husband, Tim, have been married for 26 years have three sons and two dogs.